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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 532013, 7 pages
Review Article

Current Status of the Open Abdomen Treatment for Intra-Abdominal Infection

1Department of Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, 58 2nd Zhongshan Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China
2Department of Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210002, China

Received 4 May 2013; Revised 31 August 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ioannis Pliakos

Copyright © 2013 Yujie Yuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The open abdomen has become an important approach for critically ill patients who require emergent abdominal surgical interventions. This treatment, originating from the concept of damage control surgery, was first applied in severe traumatic patients. The ultimate goal is to achieve formal abdominal fascial closure by several attempts and adjuvant therapies (fluid management, nutritional support, skin grafting, etc.). Up to the present, open abdomen therapy becomes matured and is multistage-approached in the management of patients with severe trauma. However, its application in patients with intra-abdominal infection still presents great challenges due to critical complications and poor clinical outcomes. This review focuses on the specific use of the open abdomen in such populations and detailedly introduces current concerns and advanced progress about this therapy.